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« December, 2019 »

Eat the Document   book icon  
by Dana Spiotta (2006)

read: 12 December 2019
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Loved and did not love this book which has two timelines, one from the past and one from almost-now. This is a story that is fiction but it’s clearly getting a LOT of the information in it from real-life things. A group of radicals in the 60s bombs a house where someone is killed and they go underground. That is one story. The two people who went underground (you figure out later this is who they are) are now living near each other, unbeknownst to them, in Seattle in the 90s. Which was weird for me because *I* was in Seattle in the 90s and so much of this both rang true and also didn’t feel like fiction. I made the mistake of reading others' reviews before writing my own and I have to agree that there was a lot to like about this book but keeping the big reveal (what they actually DID back in the 60s) until the last few pages felt a little constructed. I wanted to know more, sooner, I felt a lot of the people had a lack of agency and vagued their way into things. I think this was good and I’d recommend it to people but I might also warn them about some of it.

Uncanny Valley: A memoir   book icon  
by Anna Wiener (2020)

read: 11 December 2019
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A poignant look at being a woman in tech in the Bay Area pretty darned recently. The parts of this book which were the hardest for me were the parts that were SO TRUE (Wiener worked at one of the same companies that I did, while I was working there during a brief and deeply unpleasant time). She has a great voice and came to the Bay Area from the East Coast and so isn’t really a West Coast native who just vagues her way into things.

Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead   book icon  
by Sara Gran (2011)

read: 11 December 2019
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I read another mystery book where the protagonist had a bit of a mental health issue and did not like it, strongly. This one is somehow different, better written, more diverse with a lot more empathy to more of the characters. It’s a weird complicated story, trying to solve a murder or a disappearance which may or may not have happened during Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It was a romp, it was well done and I loved it.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January   book icon  
by Alix Harrow (2019)

read: 3 December 2019
rating: [+]
categories: best in show, fiction

So good and not just because a lot of it takes place in Vermont. This is a fantasy story but only sort of. The basic conceit" what if there were doors to other worlds that you could get to but they were hard to find. What if some people wanted them closed? What if other people wanted them open? How could you move among and between them? There’s a LOT going on in this story which mostly happens through the eyes of a young, female protagonist. A nicely complex story that nonetheless both wraps up and leaves a door open for more story to come.

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